Salud Carbajal

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Salud Carbajal

Salud Carbajal won California Congressional District 24 in 2016. Carbajal, a Santa Barbara County supervisor, won an expensive race against Republican Justin Fareed to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Lois Capps in the Central Coast’s 24th Congressional District, which also includes San Luis Obispo County.


Salud Carbajal and his family lived in a small copper mining town in Arizona. His father worked in the mines while his mother maintained their home for their eight children. When the mine closed, the family moved to Oxnard where Salud’s father found work in the fields. Attending junior high and high school in Oxnard, Salud applied himself and focused on his education.

Salud earned his Bachelors degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his Masters degree in Organizational Management from the Fielding University. He served eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, including active duty service (in the US) during the 1991 Gulf War.

While at UCSB, he met and married his wife, Gina Carbajal, and the two had their first child.


When he is not in Texas, Beto O'Rourke lives a five-minute walk from his Capitol Hill office, in a row house he shares with two Democratic colleagues, Jared Huffman and Salud Carbajal, both from California. Huffman is the landlord.


Carbajal’s political rise started when he met Naomi Schwartz-the supervisor who held the 1st District seat for the 12 years prior to his term-about a year before she took office. He had come to talk to her about issues concerning Santa Barbara’s low-income, Latino community. “I was really impressed with him and with his thinking,” Schwartz said. “I tucked him away in the back of my mind.” That is, until she was elected.

After winning office, Schwartz asked Carbajal if he knew any Latinos who’d be interested in working for her, someone who could connect with the 1st District’s large Latino constituency. He called back with an answer: “I would be interested.” Returning from an out-of-town meeting, Schwartz called Carbajal to say that the only time she could meet would be immediately and at the airport. “He said, ‘Sure, I’ll be there,’” she recalled. “He was always one to step up.” His hard work, quick learning, and ability to take on any task are what most impressed Schwartz when he first began working for her 15 years ago. And, said Schwartz, those traits are a large part of his success today.

Perhaps the greatest indication of Carbajal’s strength today is the fact that he is running unopposed in his reelection bid for the 1st District seat, which he won handily in 2004 by defeating Carpinteria’s John Gostovich with roughly 65 percent of the vote. Running unopposed is significant because it almost never happens, especially in the politically charged and active 1st District. No candidate in any county supervisor race has gone uncontested since Tom Urbanske faced no opposition in 1998 for the 5th District seat.

“The fact that he has no opponent absolutely bowled me over,” said his mentor, Naomi Schwartz, who, despite also being a popular supervisor, still had to run three campaigns to stay on the dais.

Of course, having significant financial support helps. Carbajal, who has $383,729 in cash on hand according to the latest report, raised more than $300,000 in one December 2007 fundraiser alone, a strong signal that any potential challengers might want to just stay home this time around. “How many folks can go out and do that?” asked 5th District Supervisor Joe Centeno, astounded at the dollar amount raised in one party. A flip-through of Carbajal’s contributor list reads like a nonpartisan who’s who of Santa Barbara: from politicians such as Goleta Mayor Michael Bennett, Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum, and Helene Schneider and Grant House from the S.B. City Council, to actors Jeff Bridges and Rob Lowe, to conservatives Sally Jordan, Dallas Clark, and former sheriff Jim Thomas.

Recently, Carbajal was honored by the Santa Barbara Industrial Association for his “leadership and support” of the business community. “That didn’t, I’m sure, go over well with some of his base who don’t like anything the Santa Barbara Industrial Association stands for,” said Carp’s Armendariz, who is the executive director of the politically conservative association.

“My actions speak and my decisions speak for my values, and I can tell you there’s nothing conservative about them.” - Salud Carbajal.

But Carbajal refuted emphatically any of the claims that he was leaning conservative. “The proof is in my actions,” he said, gunning off a list of policies and initiatives he was in favor of. “Was I conservative when I voted for the children’s health insurance item? Was I conservative when I voted to protect the oak trees? Was I conservative when I tried to bring language translation equipment in, which was voted down? Was I conservative when I voted for mental health? For the people who say that, they’ve got to be specific.” Carbajal observed that last year he was recognized by the very left-leaning social justice nonprofit PUEBLO, and will be honored this year by the Jewish Federation and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “My actions speak and my decisions speak for my values,” said Carbajal, “and I can tell you there’s nothing conservative about them.”[1]

Support for the Council on American Islamic Relations

Salud Carbajal wrote a letter of support to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on the occasion of their 24th anniversary in September 2018.[2]

Working with Kamala Harris


Thursday, October 19, 2017, the Central Coast Heritage Act — introduced on 10/16 by Congressmember Salud Carbajal and Senator Kamala Harris — seeks wilderness designation for nearly 250,000 acres of public land, including four new wilderness areas in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, while expanding nine existing areas in Los Padres National Forest. The legislation would also establish the 400-mile-long Condor National Recreation Trail. Wilderness designation prohibits logging and mining, as well as vehicles and new roads.[3]

PUEBLO Honors Organizers and Leaders

July, 2007

PUEBLO celebrates another year of social justice achievements and honors organizers, Salud Carbajal, and La Casa de la Raza. Cathy Murillo interviews Carmela Galvez, Marisol Moreno, and Carbajal.[4]

"Leftist VIPs"

Wrote Santa Barbara blogger Paul Rivas;

April 4 2011, "The eight-man Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro de Cuba killed it last night at Campbell Hall, whipping a crowd of high-paying white people into a rhythm-less frenzy".

The performance earned the Don Francisco de Goleta seal of approval, the highest honor that a Latin American musical act can hope to garner on a visit to Santa Barbara. Don Francisco was especially impressed with the singer who took over the microphone in the second half of the show, remarking, "He's playing the fuck out of the maracas, too." Goleta's other musical genius was also excited to see such impressive use made of the Cuban tres, a guitar-like instrument with six steel strings strung in pairs that sounds like a harpsichord.

It was great to see local leftist VIPs Dick and Mickey Flacks, Nick Welsh, Marty Blum and Salud Carbajal in attendance, but let's remember one thing: anybody can shell out to show solidarity when high-profile Cubans come to town, but it takes a real subversivo to rock a Cuba hoodie on the regular.[5]

CPA event

Citizens Planning Association Santa Barbara County 54th Annual Meeting, July 26, 2014.

President Dave Bernal called the meeting to order and got down to business. First up were brief introductions, an administrative report, and fittingly for the UCSB panel theme, a glowing brief of what an internship at CPA involves by current intern Lisa Haroutunian.

Salud Carbajal, left

The panel consisted of honorees:

UCSB Assistant Vice Chancellor Marc Fischer, Emeritus Professor Dick Flacks and was moderated by Geoff Green, Executive Director at the Fund for Santa Barbara. The group engaged the audience with their lively discussion regarding their current roles, UCSB's ambitious Long Range Development plan, its Public presentation for the creation of the SUN Coalition (including 16 Goleta and Isla Vista community groups),and their five year private dialogue with the university college to improve the new campus plan and reduce impacts on the surrounding community.

The award ceremony portion of the meeting kicked off with an eloquent and enthusiastic acceptance speech by Buellton's 'Citizens Planning Award' winner Joan Hartmann. Presenting the award were County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and board member, Lee Moldaver.

Next up was Ted Rhodes, honored by County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and Carpinteria Mayor Brad Stein for career service in land preservation, conservation, energy and natural resource leadership in the Carpinteria Valley.

The Board of Directors voted to present a Certificate of Encouragement to Assistant to the City Administrator Nina Johnson. Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider made the presentation.

Finally, Dick Flacks and Marc Fischer were awarded their certificate of recognition by Nineteenth Senate District Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson for their outstanding commitment and dedication to the community through invaluable service at UCSB.

The closing reception - included several former CPA award winners, including Don Olson and Bob Field, former CPA president David Landecker, councilmen Gregg Hart and Bendy White, and planning commissioner/former mayor Sheila Lodge.[6]

Santa Barbara City College

Community College League of California, Santa Barbara City College, as of January 2018;[7]

Board of Trustees

Congressional member

  • Congressman Salud Carbajal (D) CA-24

State legislators

Santa Barbara County Action Network

Salud Carbajal has a long history with the Santa Barbara County Action Network.

Board member

In 2001, a group of community activists and leaders came together to discuss the future of Santa Barbara County. This group came to the consensus that although there were numerous local organizations and activists working on a wide range of progressive causes, our efforts were often fragmented, and sometimes working at cross purposes. There was a clear need for a countywide organization that could bridge the gap between environmental and social justice issues, and help progressives find a united vision for the future of Santa Barbara County.

In January of 2002, Santa Barbara County Action Network was created to serve this purpose. Since our inception, many of our board members have been elected to public office, including State Assemblyman Das Williams, former State Assemblyman Pedro Nava, 1st District County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, and Allan Hancock College Board Trustee Hilda Zacarias.[8]

2004 endorsement

Representatives from 10 local groups gathered in downtown Santa Barbara early February 2004, to announce their endorsement of John Buttny for 3rd District supervisor and Salud Carbajal for 1st District supervisor.

The endorsement, which took place at noon on the steps of the County Administration Building, gave representatives the organizations a chance to formally state their endorsements, share the reasons behind them and express their hopes for the future.

The event was hosted by Santa Barbara County Action Network and featured representatives from Citizens for Goleta Valley, Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, SEIU Locals 535 and 620, and the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee.

David Fortson of SBCAN said the upcoming election will be crucial to the welfare of the county and many of the groups present will be seriously affected by the outcome. Fortson said there is a 3-2 majority in favor of the Democrats at present, and his main goal is to ensure that majority stays intact.

Elizabeth Owen of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee said her organization voted overwhelmingly in favor of Buttny and Carbajal.

Mick Robinson of SEIU Local 620 said the union uses a questionnaire and interview process to determine which candidate best represents labor interests.

Vernon Schabert, chair of the Santa Barbara Democratic Central Committee, said he believes Buttny and Carbajal will represent Santa Barbara faithfully if they are elected.

“Both candidates are dedicated to preserving the things that make our city special: our environment and our people,” Schaber said.[9]

SBCAN Action Fund Announces Endorsements

Board supports Salud Carbajal, Doreen Farr, Das Williams and Lois Capps, among other candidates

By Richard Flacks for the Santa Barbara County Action Network Action Fund, April 26, 2012.

The board of the Santa Barbara County Action Network Action Fund has voted for a number of endorsements in local races to be decided in the June 5 election.

The board is particularly proud to endorse Joyce Howerton, candidate for the Board of Supervisors in the Fourth District.

“Joyce was a founder of SBCAN (our sister organization) and has served as its director for the past 18 months,” Action Fund board chair Dick Flacks said. “Her record as a staunch advocate for the environment, for working families and for transparent government extends over decades as a leader and mayor of Lompoc. Her election to the board would be a transformative event in the history of this county.”

The board urges the election of Hannah-Beth Jackson for State Senate.

SBCANAF endorses the following candidates for re-election to the county Board of Supervisors: Salud Carbajal for the First District and Doreen Farr for the Third District.

The Action Fund endorses Das Williams for re-election to the Assembly and Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, for Congress.

The SBCAN Action Fund will be urging its hundreds of supporters to contribute their time, energy and dollars to these campaigns.[10]

2015 “Looking Forward” Awards Dinner


Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt, on left, accepts the Social Justice Award from Santa Barbara County Action Network during the North County “Looking Forward” Awards Dinner in Santa Maria on June 7, 2015, while dignitaries wait to present their own awards.

From left, they are Joyce Howerton representing State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, Congresswoman Lois Capps, former SBCAN president Joann Marmolejo, Cory Bantilan representing County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino and County Supervisor Salud Carbajal. (Photo credit: Jeanne Sparks)[11]

Keynote SBCAN event


SBCAN - Santa Barbara County Action Network March 12, 2017.

  1. SBCAN GREAT Community Brunch Keynote: Congressman Salud Carbajal

Influencing Salud Carbajal


Jonathan Abboud SBCC Trustee, and Santa Barbara County Action Network board member, shared Daily Nexus's post. May 4, 2017.

Two months ago myself and many other community college trustees descended on Washington DC with a year round pell grant as our main ask. I met with Salud's staff that week about it and they enthusiastically said this is an issue important to Salud Carbajal -- now he's introduced a bill that incorporates our ask and goes even further, thank you Salud!

Democratic Party Leaders and Activist endorsers


Salud Carbajal received 83 percent of Central Coast Democratic activists votes Jan. 30, 2016, in the California Democratic Party’s pre-endorsement conference.

“I am thrilled to be the choice of the Central Coast Democrats. These grassroots activists are the backbone of our party, working on the front lines every day to support candidates and advancing issues that will move our communities and our country forward," Carbajal said. "I am honored to have their support and look forward to working with them in this campaign on advancing our plans to strengthen the middle class and protect our unique communities.”

The final vote tally was 95 votes for Salud Carbajal, 11 votes for Helene Schneider, 9 votes for No Endorsement and 0 votes for Bill Ostrander. Voters at the pre-endorsement conference all live within the 24th Congressional District and are active with local Democratic clubs and organizations.

“Salud Carbajal has been a champion for the issues and causes that are at the core of the Democratic Party, expanding the middle class, equal pay for women and protecting our environment," said Santa Barbara County Democratic Party Chair Daraka Larimore-Hall. "The party’s grassroots activists overwhelmingly chose Salud Carbajal for Congress as the California Democratic Party’s choice because of his track record of bringing people together to advance these issues and his commitment to fighting for the Central Coast.”

Other community and elected leaders already endorsing Salud Carbajal for Congress include:


For Santa Barbara Democrats, November 2016 election candidates, for whom the party “machine” revved its engines won big and won convincingly.

County Supervisor Salud Carbajal ​— ​heir apparent to 18-year Democratic Congressmember Lois Capps ​— ​will be representing Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and a portion of Ventura County, in Congress next year. Joan Hartmann, similarly backed and embraced by the Democratic establishment, beat out rival Bruce Porter for the all-important 3rd District supervisorial seat, maintaining a Democratically inclined environmental tilt on the Board of Supervisors. State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson cakewalked into another term, and school boardmember Monique Limon ​— ​pegged as the next rising star in the left’s political firmament ​— ​trounced an opponent for the State Assembly.[14]

Jenaro Valdez connection

William V. Flores September 22, 2016.


Coffee today with Santa Barbara County Supervisor (and candidate for Congress), Salud Carbajal. We share friends in common. Thanks to Jenaro Valdez, a close friend to both of us, for introducing us! — with Salud Carbajal.


By protecting and defending the constitutional rights of American Muslims, CAIR supports the rights of all Americans.”

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) (October 2017)[15]

SOTU guest

Rep. Carbajal (CA-24) announced that Dawn Addis, a founder of the Women's March San Luis Obispo (WMSLO), will attend the President’s annual State of the Union Address on January 30, 2018. Each year, Members of Congress are permitted one guest to attend the address.

“Dawn has been a force of nature when it comes to civic engagement on the Central Coast, helping organize thousands of people for women’s marches, as well as rallying our community to oppose the misguided deportation of a hardworking mother,” said Carbajal. “As we hear from a President who has systematically rolled back protections for women’s health, working families, the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrants, Dawn’s presence will serve to strongly represent our Central Coast values in opposition to these misguided priorities. Our state of the union is strong when citizens directly engage in our political system. Dawn has proven this valuable lesson in our own community and it is an honor to have her join me for this address.”

“I am humbled to be invited to the State of the Union Address by Congressman Carbajal,” said Dawn Addis. “As a co-organizer of Women's March SLO, along with Andrea Chmelik, Jen Ford, Pat Harris, and Terry Parry, I am proud of the thousands of advocates across the Central Coast who stand for women’s rights, human rights, and environmental justice for all people. Representing the Central Coast in Washington DC is a huge honor and I thank the Congressman for recognizing the efforts of his constituents to create a positive future.”

In 2016, recognizing that she could no longer work on the sidelines to create change, Ms. Addis took a leap of faith and decided to enter the public arena of community organizing. She put her skills and voice to work, drawing 10,000 people to the Women’s March in San Luis Obispo, the largest single-day demonstration San Luis Obispo has ever seen. Since the 2017 Women’s March, Ms. Addis has continued as a community activist alongside Terry Parry, Andrea Chmelik, Pat Harris, and Jen Ford. Together the group has crafted WMSLO into a premier Central Coast organization focused on building a positive and just future.

Last year, Carbajal invited first-generation college student at UC Santa Barbara and son of Latino immigrants, Izeah Garcia.[16]

Isla Vista is United

Natalie Jordan, October 31, 2016.


Isla Vista Self-Governance has been over 50 years in the making. This year you will have the opportunity (and a VOTE) to make history for the future of Isla Vista! I am proud to be running along Fr Jon-stephen Hedges, Spencer Brandt, and Ethan Bertrand to represent you on the Isla Vista Community Services District. I love Isla Vista and I am incredibly passionate about the community and it’s needs.... See More — with Daniel Torres, Salud Carbajal, Fr Jon-stephen Hedges, Spencer Brandt, Ethan Bertrand, Joan Hartmann, Carlos Lopez, Justin Deckard, Cameron James Schunk, Woodrow Davidson, Jennifer Enriquez, Izabella Kipnis, Maleah Vincent, Izeah R. Garcia, Avery Pan, Victoria Dubeau, Ashcon Minoiefar, Kathleen Jordan, Raphaelle Reyes Quinto, Kate Lindsey, Jonathan Abboud and Darcel Elliott.

SB Democrats

Daraka Larimore-Hall November 8, 2016.


The 5AM Lit Drop Crew in Santa Barbara. Let's get it done! — with Sherry K. Holland, Gregg Hart, Elijah Ettenger, Monique Limon, Salud Carbajal, Hillary Blackerby and Lucille Boss in Santa Barbara, California.

San Luis Obispo Progressives

Danna Joy Dykstra-Coy April 23, 2017.


San Luis Obispo Progressives' Town Hall with Rep. Salud Carbajal. — with Brenda Dykstra, April Grundfor and Salud Carbajal in San Luis Obispo, California.

"Warriors for progressive social change"

Marcos Vargas, October 27, 2017.


Rallying for social, economic and environmental justice even after work, with Dolores Huerta and other friends and warriors for progressive social change. — with Salud Carbajal, Hannah-Beth Jackson and Cathy Murillo in Santa Barbara, California.

Council for a Livable World

In 2018 Salud Carbajal was endorsed by Council for a Livable World.[17]

DSA connections

Santa Barbara DSA endorsement

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In March 2020 Santa Barbara Democratic Socialists of America endorsed Bernie Sanders, Salud Carbajal, Jonathan Abboud, Monique Limon and Das Williams in the California primaries.

HR 109 endorser

By February 20 2019 endorsers of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's HR 109 (Green New Deal) included Salud Carbajal.

Socialist healthcare lobbying

Santa Barbara Democratic Socialists of America May 13 2019:


Today we met with Salud Carbajal as part of a coalition led by Santa Barbara resident and Medicare for All hero Ady Barkan. Salud listened to our healthcare horror stories, agreed that healthcare is a right and Medicare for All should be our goal, but stopped short of signing on to Medicare for All (H.R. 1384) even as he cited that it would save us $2 trillion dollars and prevent millions of deaths. Why won’t Salud sign on to this bill if he agrees with us? Does he lack the courage necessary to stand with us and fight?

Socialist success

Santa Barbara Democratic Socialists of America June 29 2019.


We’ve got great news! Thank you Congressman Salud Carbajal for joining our fight for #MedicareForAll

Carrizo Plan

Heidi Harmon is at Mission Plaza. June 30, 2017 ·


Join me, Congressman Salud Carbajal, former Congresswoman Lois Capps and others as we join together to show our support for the Carrizo Plan. Mary Alina, Ethan Buckner, Dale Stoker, Grant Helete.